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Kazmir is Awesome; Angels Still Lose, 3 to 0

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First things first: the Halos' new acquisition, Scott Kazmir, went six and third strong innings, giving up only one run on three hits and a walk while striking out eight. He threw up nothing but goose eggs until the seventh, when he issued a leadoff walk to Mike Sweeney before grooving a 93 mph fastball two batters later that Bill Hall lined off the leftfield wall. Sweeney came all the way around to score.

Kevin Jepsen relieved Kazmir, only to watch Hall steal third and take home on a throwing error by Napoli and a missed scoop by Figgins. The Halos avoided further damage that inning when Jepsen induced a DP groundball that Izturis initially booted, then recovered to flip to Aybar, who barehanded the catch, hurdled the oncoming baserunner, and made a strong midair throw to complete the 4-6-3 double play.

An inning later, Brian Fuentes walked in a run. He struck out two of the six men he faced, but yielded a tough-luck infield single, a double, and an intentional walk before the self-inflicted humiliation. Scioscia pulled him before he could finish the eighth.

The Halos offense never showed up, managing just four hits and three walks in eight innings against a very tough Felix Hernandez. Their best scoring opportunity came in the third with a single by Mike Napoli and walks from Chone Figgins and Bobby Abreu. With two outs, Hernandez threw Torii Hunter four straight fastballs, blowing the last one by him at 93 mph.

With the Texas Rangers victory over the Blue Jays, the Angels' lead in the standings has been cut to a mere 3.5 games. They led the division by 6 at the close of play Monday night. The Halos are now a disconcerting 18 and 23 against AL West opponents.

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